When used in industrial settings, methyl mercaptan is flammable and can cause headaches, nausea, eye irritation, and respiratory distress at high doses. It can be absorbed rapidly through inhalation and minimally through skin and eye exposure.
When inhaled, methyl mercaptan can cause symptoms including headaches, dizziness, nausea and eye irritation. At significant doses, methyl mercaptan inhalation can lead to more serious health complications and can be fatal.
Facility workers are trained in the safe handling of this chemical to limit exposures and risk. First aid protocols generally advise that workers and those who inhale methyl mercaptan while in an industrial setting should be moved from the exposed environment to fresh air at once and monitored for respiratory distress.
While methyl mercaptan is strongly odorous, the low levels present in foods, human breath, sea air, and bogs are not considered safety risks. Most humans can detect methyl mercaptan odor at concentrations 500 times lower than the accepted safe exposure limit.
For complete safety information, reference the manufacturer’s specific Material Safety Data Sheet.